Spotlight tonight took the big prize at the 88th Academy Awards with a Best Picture victory. Nominated for a total of six Oscars tonight it also was the big winner Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Open Road-distributed and Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team’s exposes of rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-ups was chosen as one of the top 10 films of 2015 by AFI. McCarthy lost on Best Director on Sunday to The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Inarritu.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar onstage, surrounded by Spotlight‘s cast and creatives. “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
Before tonight’s ceremony, McCarthy, actor Mark Ruffalo and co-writer Josh Singer were among protesters outside L.A.’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. “Standing with the survivors of priest sexual abuse,” Ruffalo tweeted on Sunday in solidarity with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests demanding the public release of the names of pedophile members of the clergy.
Spotlight‘s only other Oscar win was for the Original Screeenplay by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, making it the first film since 1952’s The Greatest Show On Earth to win the Best Picture category with only one other award.
In total, Spotlight was nominated this year for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing. The other films competing with Spotlight this year for Oscars’ biggest prize were The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room and The Revenant.